How To Pass Any Salesforce Exam

Grab a cup of coffee, pull up a chair, and get comfortable, we're going to discuss how to pass any Salesforce exam.  By the time you have finished reading this series, we will have covered the below topics. 

- How to prepare for the exam by breaking down the exam guide to identify an effective strategy

- The resources to help with your study

- The most effective and efficient way to learn

- Exam techniques to improve your chances of passing

In this coffee meeting, we will cover how to prepare for any Salesforce exam and over the next couple of times we meet for coffee we will address both the resources to use to study, the best way for us to study, and some exam tips to give us the best chance of passing the exam.

But before we dive headlong into those topics, let's first have a quick chat about what a Salesforce certification is and why they matter.

Demonstrating your knowledge and expertise is hugely important in any career and Salesforce is no different, the main way to demonstrate your ability is through Salesforce certifications.  While experience is important so are certifications and one of the hot topics within the Salesforce Ecosystem is the argument of experience vs. certifications, which is more important, which is more useful in determining someone's actual ability and skill but that's a conversation for another day.

Apart from demonstrating your knowledge and skills, certifications are usually closely tied to your salary as well.  Who do you think is going to earn more, someone with 1 certification or someone with 10?  There are of course exceptions to the rule, particularly in the world of Salesforce development but again that's a topic for another time.

Preparation

Preparation is key, you've heard it a million times or more, failing to prepare is preparing to fail, and I agree 100% with that sentiment.  In order to not only pass your certification exam but to also develop the real-world skills that you will make you valuable in the job market, you must be prepared.

There is no shortcut.

If you have come here hoping to find the secret to achieving a Salesforce certification quickly, easily, and with minimal effort, I'm afraid to disappoint you.  There are no shortcuts, not just here but in life, if you want to pass your certification you need to put the work in.  Without work, there is no progress.

So now I'm done being a doomsayer and painting the picture of a mountain to climb in order to pass your exam let me give you the good news, everything you need Salesforce gives you.  Even better than that is once you understand how to breakdown the exam guide you are presented with a checklist of what you need to know, almost a cheat sheet for knowledge and understanding.  How great is that?  So how do you break it down, lets have a look.

Breaking the Exam Guide Down

wasn’t joking when I said that Salesforce gives you everything that you need to learn and pass each certification, one key aspect is the exam guide. Think of the exam guide as your syllabus, your checklist of what you need to know in order to pass the exam and get your Salesforce Certification. The exam guide is a great starting point to create a highly effective study plan.

 

Let’s look at the Trailhead Salesforce Administrator exam guide as an example - Exam Guide

 

The first thing we should do is have a quick scan of the objectives and their weightings so we can identify the key areas to focus on;

As we can see, there are 2 heavily weighted areas, 2 medium weighted areas, and 3 lightly weighted areas. I would strongly suggest that when studying you focus on the more heavily weighted areas as you will get more questions about those than the lightly weighted areas.

 

The most heavily weighted areas are Configuration and Setup (20%), and Object Manager and Lightning App Builder (20%). The medium weighted areas are Workflow/Process Automation (16%), Data and Analytics Management (14%). And the lightly weighted areas are Sales and Marketing Applications (12%), Service and Support Applications (11%), and Productivity and Collaboration (7%).

 

Next let's take a step back and have a look at the first part of the guide, About the Exam, we can use this to further structure our studying.

About the Exam

As we can see, there are 2 heavily weighted areas, 2 medium weighted areas, and 3 lightly weighted areas. I would strongly suggest that when studying you focus on the more heavily weighted areas as you will get more questions about those than the lightly weighted areas.

 

The most heavily weighted areas are Configuration and Setup (20%), and Object Manager and Lightning App Builder (20%). The medium weighted areas are Workflow/Process Automation (16%), Data and Analytics Management (14%). And the lightly weighted areas are Sales and Marketing Applications (12%), Service and Support Applications (11%), and Productivity and Collaboration (7%).

 

Next let's take a step back and have a look at the first part of the guide, About the Exam, we can use this to further structure our studying.

There are three bullet points for this area and by taking a little time to think about what Salesforce wants us to know we can spot the key concepts that we should learn and understand. The first bullet point refers to identifying the most appropriate automation solution based on the capabilities of the tool, this means that we need to understand what each automation tool does, the advantages of each, the disadvantages of each, when we should use them, and when we shouldn’t. I would focus on really getting to know Approval Processes, Workflow Rules, Process Builders, and Flows. Bullet point two tells us that we need to know Flows in detail, so again I would really focus on understanding what they do, how they work, their advantages and disadvantages, and when we should or shouldn’t use them. I would also look at scenarios where a Flow would be more effective than other automation tools. The final bullet point refers to Approval Processes, so again I would follow the same path as we did with Flows are really get to know them inside out.

 

Doing this then gives us a checklist that we can use to help structure our study, we know we need to know;

 

  • The differences between Approval Processes, Workflow Rules, Process Builders, and Flows

  • When to use, and when not to use each one

  • Flows in detail

  • Approval Processes in detail

 

If we do this for each section and objective of the exam guide we will end up with a pretty complete study guide that highlights all the key areas that we need to know.

Compiling Your Study Guide - The List of Contents

Once you have done this for each area you will have a pretty comprehensive list of key concepts.  Treat this like a checklist for what you need to know in order to pass your exam.  

Having this checklist serves a number of purposes;

1. We now have a clear list of what key concepts we need to know

2. We now know where to spend more time studying

3. We now understand what we need to achieve to pass

Another result of this is that, hopefully, we no longer feel as intimidated or unsure of the exam as we have taken the time to truly understand what is required.  This should lower any stress or anxiety we have about the exam as we have a clear picture of it.  When we are unsure of what we need to know we tend to expect the worst-case scenario which will cause us to procrastinate and become more anxious, this will then cause us to find reasons not to study, not to take the exam, to not even attempt it.  Creating this checklist gives you a clear understanding of what you need to know.

Next Step - Resources for Studying

Let's talk about the resources that you can use to learn Salesforce. While you may expecting me to reel off a list of numerous websites, YouTube channels, or courses, I first have a question for you.

 

How Do You Learn?

It's vitally important to choose resources that suit your learning style. I quickly discovered in my sales career that everyone has their preferred modality of communication, some people are visual, some auditory, and some kinaesthetic. You can get a good idea of someone's communication method by the words they use when speaking with them, a great example of this is when you check someone's understanding of a concept you have been discussing. They will often use phrases such as "I see what you mean", "I hear what you are saying", or "I feel like I understand", these are great insights into how best to communicate and establish rapport with them quickly. It's highly unusual that someone will use just one method, most people will have two although one will be the primary way in which they see the world.

 

There are loads of websites you can use to figure out what your communication and learning style is, simply search for "VAK Learning Style Test" and you'll have hundreds to go at. I do suspect that you may know your preferred method already, or at least have a strong suspicion. Finding out how you learn will enable you to optimise your study and maximise your knowledge retainment.

 

My primary modality is visual, my secondary is kinaesthetic. I learn best by reading documentation or books and can usually recall a fair amount of information after my first read, I build on this by highlighting and making notes along the way. There are other methods and techniques that I use to increase my effectiveness and we will delve into them at a later time, for now, I just want to highlight the three modalities. Further proof of this is my love for reading, however, I have tried multiple attempts to switch from physical books to ebooks, but I just can't do it. I love the feel of the pages as I flick through a book, the coarseness of the paper on my fingertips, and the smell of a new book when you first open it. I don't get the same buzz when I try to read on a kindle and more often than not lose interest after a couple of reading sessions. I've tried Audible and while I do enjoy listening to books on runs, walks and when commuting to the office, I find that I struggle to retain that information, it just goes in one ear and out the other!

 

This means that I focus on reading through documentation, making notes, and utilising Trailhead and Dev Orgs. I know many people who learn through watching YouTube videos, listening to Podcasts, or simply having someone walkthrough and demo the subject matter but for me, my mind wanders. I have a short attention span and if I don't anchor or engage myself my mind wanders, maybe you're the same?

 

Once you know how you learn, you can then start putting together your list of resources, here is a shortlist of what I would expect for each modality, but before I list them, here's a disclaimer. I am no expert, I am no smarter than the average bear, these are just my observations and assumptions;

 

Visual: Salesforce Documentation, YouTube Videos, Udemy Courses and Focus On Force notes.

Auditory: YouTube Videos, Podcasts, and Udemy Courses.

Kinaesthetic: Trailhead Trailmixes, Personal Dev Orgs that you can use to practice, and classes in which you follow along as the instructor teaches.

 

My caveat here is that in order to pass any Salesforce exam you must have hands-on experience. Trailhead should be your first port of call, but then you should look at building and breaking things in your own Dev Org. While the aim is to pass your Salesforce exam, there is no way of doing so without getting that hands-on experience to fully understand each concept and once you pass the exam, you must be able to use the knowledge that you have gained effectively.

My Recommended Resources

On top of these resources, there are multiple blogs that offer great insights and clear explanations for anything that you may be unsure of, and the Trailblazer Community is packed with helpful souls who will be more than willing to help. For myself here are the main resources that I use to study and pass my Salesforce Certifications;

  • Trailhead - Trailhead is an incredible platform where you can get real hands-on experience. By getting hands-on and implementing the concepts you are learning, you will help solidify that knowledge and lock it in. What's also fantastic is that as you go through these trails you are bound to screw up and you will have to figure out a solution that further tests your knowledge. Super badges are an excellent test of your skills and you should be comfortable completing them.

  • Salesforce Documentation - Salesforce provides excellent documentation that you can study, you will find all of the key concepts covered and real facts and figures when it comes to limitations and considerations for Salesforce features. Salesforce documentation essentially becomes my bible when studying for any Salesforce Certification.

  • Focus on Force - Focus on Force is a website that condenses most of the Salesforce Documentation into manageable, easy-to-understand chunks. It also has excellent mocks that are pretty similar in structure to what you can expect in the exam, meaning that you can get a bit more of an understanding of what to expect in the actual exam.

  • Personal Dev Orgs - I would always recommend that you set up your own personal Dev Org to play around with, for certain certifications, this is a must. There is no way you can get enough hands-on experience using only Trailhead for certifications like CPQ of FSL, however, by setting up your own Dev Org you can really play around and break stuff to further your understanding.

So there you have it, at this point we know what we need to study and we also know our primary modality of learning, using this information we can now collate our resources and put together our study plan. While this step may not seem as glamorous as the others, I assure you this is vitally important. We all remember being in class at school, the teacher waffling on, lecturing at us about covalent bonds or the linguistic features of Hamlet, expecting us to be listening, internalising that information when in actual fact, we were staring out the window, counting down the minutes, the seconds until we could escape that room and do something more entertaining. Or perhaps it was going through page after page of that Physics textbook, looking down at the page, and rather than seeing formulas or principles that made sense we just saw a jumbled up collection of letters or numbers that didn't mean anything. It's because we weren't playing to our strengths, I was that boy sat in class while the teacher rambled on not making any sense but as soon as I saw it written down, in text, I could read it and understand it. I could highlight, make notes and rearrange the order of formulas to use them.

 

There are various study techniques that we will explore next time that will aid you on your journey. These techniques will help you remember what you are learning, fully understand the content, and more importantly, help you recall that information when you need it most.

 

For now find out how you learn and tailor your studies to that modality, if you are visual and auditory then YouTube Videos and Udemy courses will be your staple if you more kinaesthetic then make sure you get plenty of hands-on experience through Trailhead and your own Dev Orgs. Whatever your preferred method you must get hands-on. It all about playing to your strengths, as the famous saying goes... work smarter, not harder!

Study Techniques

 

If you followed our previous steps you should have a pretty solid foundation to begin your study, you have a breakdown of what you need to know, a good understanding of your learning preference (visual, auditory, or kinesthetic), and a collection of resources that you can use to study in your preferred style.

Now we have that information we have to make the best use of it, it's time to work smarter, not harder. There are various techniques that you can use to help improve the effectiveness of your learning which we will explore. These techniques help you retain more information, understand the concepts more clearly, and most importantly, allow you to apply them to the real world through that deeper level of comprehension.

 

Before we dive into the techniques I want to make a quick disclaimer. There are no shortcuts, nothing worth doing comes easy and if you think that these techniques will mean you only need to spend a minimal amount of time preparing for an exam before you ace it, I’m afraid you will be disappointed. The end goal should be learning and understanding the content, not memorisation, there is no point holding the certification and then not being able to do the job. It's a recipe for disaster and it's highly unlikely that you will be able to pass without actually understanding the information! I have shared these techniques based on my own subjective and personal experience so while they work for me, they may not for you.

 

Now I’m done with my warning, here are the techniques that I personally use. I’ll explain what the technique is, why I use it and an example to help solidify your understanding and avoid any misunderstanding.

 

Intentional Study

 

In order for your study to be effective, you need a plan, for that plan to be effective you need to put it into action. When you study make sure you are clear of your objectives, what is it that you want to gain from this study session? How will you achieve that? When you answer these questions before you study, you prime yourself with a clear vision of your intentions which turns into a highly effective study session. If the purpose of your study session is to understand Organisation Wide Default settings, then you will approach your time with a singular focus that by the end of the session you want to ensure that you feel comfortable explaining how OWD’s work and the impact they can have on an Org. When you don't set your intention, you can often end up switching between completely unrelated topics which makes for a highly ineffective study session.

 

Hands-On Experience

 

Regardless of your learning style, hands-on experience is incredibly important and I would argue that this is the single most important study technique of them all. While you can read all the documentation and watch all the YouTube videos around, unless you get your hands dirty by building, testing, and breaking the concepts you are learning, you will not get a full understanding. Furthermore, as you spend more time working with Salesforce either through the Trailhead Trailmixes or in your own Dev Org, you will start to build muscle memory which helps speed up your learning and create the associations that you need between the concepts and the actions required to utilise them. While you can read about the impact of changing field types, nothing really sticks in your mind more than when you want to change a field type and run the risk of losing data or are unable to change it, the experience of hitting this roadblock will stick in your mind stronger than simply reading about it.

 

Learn the Concepts First

 

I find that learning the concepts first and how to build them second to be the most effective way for me to retain them. By learning the concept first, I have a basic idea of why I should be doing something when it comes to building them in a Salesforce Org. For example, by knowing the purpose of an approval process, the various options, and what the limitations are, I was able to grasp the order of configuration and the requirement/use case for each aspect of it quicker, than if I had just built one and not really recognised the best way to build it.

 

Spaced Repetition

 

I hate to break it to you, but cramming isn’t an effective method for long-term information retainment, sorry! While cramming can work short-term to give you a small boost, long term it is pretty useless I’m afraid. Spaced repetition is the exact opposite of cramming, rather than trying to cram all the information into one or two marathon study sessions the night before the exam, you space out that information over a period of time so you can go over it multiple times. You can combine this with revisiting information that you are struggling to remember more often than the information that just seems to click and stick in your mind, this helps you push that information from short-term to long-term memory. For me, I found formula fields and validations difficult to grasp as I’ve never really delved into formulas or coding before, whereas the sales side of things came naturally to me as that's my background. Therefore I focused more time learning about formulas and validation rules than I did on lead or sales processes.

 

Note Taking

 

This might not be for everyone but for me, it's a really important step in my learning. When I read through documentation I highlight the key parts as I go along. I’m selective in what I highlight so my page doesn't look like a 90’s rave party and the only information highlighted is what I believe to be key information. After I have finished reading through the documentation for the subject/concept I will then go back through the highlighted parts and transfer them into my own notes, in my own words. I find the physical act of writing something down, particularly when I think about what I am writing such as transferring highlighted text that I convert into my own words is a great way to lock that information in.

 

Pomodoro Technique

 

The Pomodoro technique is more known as a time management tool rather than a study technique, however, I have found it incredibly useful when studying. The way it works is that you study in 25 minutes blocks, taking a 5-minute break after each block and a longer break of 15 to 30 minutes after 4 blocks. I find this incredibly useful as it gives me a timeframe to work to so that I can focus on what I can accomplish in that block, and rather than wondering when my next break is, I know exactly when it is. Working in shorter periods allows my concentration to remain high and helps prevent my mind from wandering, it also helps tie into the primacy and recency effect.

 

Primacy and Recency Effect

 

A well-known psychological principle is the primacy and recency effect, it states that when presented with information we tend to remember the first part and last part, often forgetting the middle. Think back to the last conversation you had, you can easily remember how it began and how it ended, but trying to recall the exact information in the middle can be troublesome. Try and think of your mobile number, I bet you could remember the first 5 digits and the last 3 easily but the middle 3 wasn't quite so easy. Using the Pomodoro technique prevents this middle ground where information is lost into the ether and never retained. This doesn’t apply to everyone and there are people who can focus for 4 hours without a break and do not suffer from the primacy or recency effect, I am not one of them, unfortunately.

 

The Compound Effect

 

This is based on my learning from ‘The Compound Effect’ book by Darren Hardy, it's also sometimes referred to as the latte effect. This is the principle that small changes made every day have a huge impact in the long term, I don't think there are many people who would disagree. The way that I suggest using this principle, is by committing to at least 30 minutes of study a day, more if you can. Two things will generally happen, one is that when you get into the rhythm of studying you won’t want to just do 30 minutes, you’ll start tagging on an extra 10, 20, or even 30 minutes each time, which will speed up your learning process. The second thing that will happen is as you are studying every day, your brain becomes more accustomed to it and will begin to retain information better (google neuroplasticity to find out more) and in turn, your study will be more effective and your learning will be turbocharged. A great example of this is when you want to become fitter and so start running, the first time you run you may only run 1 mile and feel absolutely shattered. After a week of running this 1 mile a day, it almost becomes effortless so you stretch it to 1.5 miles, next week you lengthen it again. All those days of running compound to create a fitter, stronger, faster you.

 

Teach Someone Else

 

Teaching someone else is a fantastic way to lock in that new knowledge, if you learn with the intention of teaching someone what you have learned you will approach your study differently, usually with more focus on deeper understanding. Even more important is that as you teach someone else they may ask questions that you have not thought of that cause you to question your understanding, this will cause you to form a more rounded understanding as you find the answers to the questions. Furthermore, as you teach what you are learning, you will sense where your knowledge is weakest and where you should focus your study. It's also pretty fun which helps engage your mind more! When I study for any exam I usually have a study buddy or if that isn’t possible I treat my dog as my study buddy, I may seem a little crazy trying to teach a German Shepherd the pricing calculations for CPQ, but it helps me understand and remember the steps.

 

So there you have it, the study techniques that will help you retain, comprehend and use the information you gain in a more effective and constructive way. While some of these techniques may work for you, some may not, simply use the ones that work and discard the rest. The next time we meet we will talk about exam techniques and how through using a deliberate thought process you can improve your chances of passing your Salesforce exam.

Exam Tips 

By now we should be in a fairly solid position ready for our exam, we've taken the time to prepare fully and we have focused our time to really learn and understand the vital knowledge we need to pass the exam. But as we know, we don't all perform to the best of our abilities in exams, we panic, we second guess our answers or our minds betray us and go completely blank.

 

I'm afraid there's no magic pill that is going to solve any of those problems however I do have some quick-fire tips that will help you negate them and allow you to perform better in the exam, here they are;

 

Positive Mindset

 

The biggest tip that I can give anyone when going into any exam, not just a Salesforce Certification exam, is to go in with a positive mindset. I'm not saying go into the exam convinced that you are going to pass easily and you're going to know all the answers to the questions. I'm suggesting that you take stock of all the work you have done leading up to this moment, the hours you have put in studying, the knowledge you have been building, the hard work you have done. Have faith in yourself, if you enter the exam with a negative mindset you will struggle to understand the questions, think clearly and recall the information required. If you enter the exam full of faith and positivity you will think differently, recall more information, and approach the questions in a different manner.

 

Calm Yourself & Take Your Time

 

Take time before your exam to calm yourself, being nervous when taking your exam normal and a lot of people feel that way. A few nerves are good as it increases your alertness and will help you focus, a lot of nerves are bad and will cause distress and panic, limiting your performance. When you start the exam take a minute to collect your thoughts, slow your breathing and mentally prepare for the exam ahead. I've purposely said when you start the exam rather than before the exam as I find that the sight of the first question raises my heartrate dramatically so taking the time after I've seen it allows me to reset myself ready for the task at hand. You want to make sure that you are in the right frame of mind to call on all the knowledge you have stored.

 

Read The Question At Least Twice

 

Salesforce Certification exam questions have a habit of being a little vague or unclear. I would always recommend that you read the question at least twice or as many times as needed to ensure that you are 100% sure what the question is asking. There are so many times that I have been back through the exam only to reread a question and realise that I misunderstood it on the first pass and have selected the wrong answer.

 

Process Of Elimination

 

Once you understand the question you can now assess the answers, I would suggest that the first thing you do is rule out the answers that you know are wrong. Generally, this will cut the possible correct answers down to two and allow you to focus on the two remaining answers. With only two answers left, you can look at them deeper and compare them, I don't mean this literally I mean from a functional, conceptual point of view. Through your study you will have a really strong understanding of the concepts, processes and best use cases for the vast majority of the Salesforce features you should be asked about. Out of the remaining answers which one makes the most sense to you and would be the best fit.

 

Start Simple

 

Another trick I have found really useful is to always work off the most simple solution, sure you could go with an answer that is really fancy and sounds amazing, but remember, the best practice is to go the simple route. If you can solve a problem with a Workflow then you should opt for that rather than a complex Apex solution (I know that times are changing and Workflows and Process Builders are going to eventually be phased out but for the purpose of this example lets go with it).

 

Give Salesforce Kudos

 

If in doubt give Salesforce kudos, if you are really unsure of an answer after you have gone over it a few times then go with the answer that makes Salesforce look good. Don't forget that these exams have been created by Salesforce and they are hardly going to write a question that makes Salesforce look anything other than magical.

 

Gut Instinct

 

If you have a gut feeling about a question and answer go with it, you've acquired a huge amount of knowledge while studying and not all of it is going to be in the forefront of your mind while you are sitting this exam. Some of that knowledge will be stored in your unconscious and while you may not be able to recall exactly why you know that answer is the correct one, you know it is.

 

Mark for Review

 

Marking a question for review is a fantastic feature of Salesforce Certification exams, if you are unsure of a question or the correct answer simply mark it for review and come back to it later. Don't spend too long going over and over the same question, if you don't know the answer on the first pass mark it for review and move on. Once you have been through a few questions you will have warmed up a little and will likely understand the question better.

 

Final Review

 

This isn't for everyone, I know many people who go with their first answers without any review and are very successful with that process. I personally like to review all my answers before I submit my exam, that way I can pick up any silly mistakes and it also helps with the next step that we will explore next week - the post mortem. I go over the questions that I have marked for review at least once to make sure I am as confident as I can be with my answers, I've also found that as I work my way through the exam some of the questions and answers will assist in early questions

 

So there we have it, my tips to help you perform to the best of your ability in the exam. As always you may want to use one or two of these tips rather than all of them, it just depends on how you like to approach exams.

 

Next time we meet we will discuss what you should do immediately after you finish the exam, regardless if you pass or fail. The exam post-mortem is a key element for identifying the holes in your knowledge and preparing you for being more effective in your job.

 

Exam Post Mortem

Once you have finished your exam you have a golden window of opportunity to deconstruct your performance, whether you pass or fail now is the time to carry out an honest, no-holds-barred review of your performance to speed up your development.

 

But before we get into that, the first thing you should do is to be kind to yourself and give yourself a pat on the back. If you passed your exam then congratulations, do a little dance, and celebrate! If you didn’t pass then don’t worry about it, you’ve gained invaluable experience of the exam and will be prepared better for next time. Salesforce exams are hard and very few people pass the exam the first time around so don’t beat yourself up about it or get deflated, use this feeling as fuel to turbocharge your study in preparation for your next exam when you will pass.

 

Here are the steps that I follow and would recommend you follow along with;

 

Brain Dump

 

This is a key step to help improve your knowledge and skills, it's incredibly unlikely that you would’ve scored 100% on the exam even if you did pass. Make a note of any questions that stuck in your mind, these can be the ones that you found difficult, the ones that didn’t make any sense, or the ones that contained terminology that you have never heard before. You’ll be amazed at how much of the exam you will forget in the next couple of hours so getting this information down immediately is key to understanding where your knowledge is lacking and where you need to improve. Even if you passed there will still have been questions that you weren't 100% confident on, use these to become a better Salesforce professional.

 

Calculate Your Overall Score

 

Now comes the time to start building for the future, after your exam you will receive an email containing your scores. A quick Google search for 'Salesforce Certification Score Checker' will take you to a website where you can input your scores for each section and it will calculate your overall score. This is important as it will indicate how well you have performed, if you have passed you can see by how much, and if you didn’t pass you can see how far you were off passing. If you only a couple of questions away from passing you may want to resit your exam sooner whereas if you were a good 15% plus off you may want to give yourself more time to study and build that knowledge. This will provide a holistic view of your knowledge for that certification.

 

Analyse Your Score

 

Your results will give you a great indication of your strengths and weaknesses, and more importantly where you need to focus your study to improve. If you passed your exam here is where you will find what to concentrate on to help become a more well-rounded consultant, if you scored low on one section then spend some time becoming more familiar with that section. If you didn’t pass, your results will form the basis of your exam study preparation v2.0, you will be able to see the areas that you struggled on and scored low and now know where to focus. When creating your next study plan don’t forget to take into account the weighting of those areas, for example, if you score low on two separate secionts, one worth 3% and one worth 17%, make sure that you focus more time studying on the 17% area as that will give you the biggest improvement in your overall score. You will often find that the larger sections feed into the smaller sections in one way or another.

 

Concepts to Focus On

 

By making a note of the questions immediately when you finished the exam you now have a list of specific concepts to target, it could be that there were questions around multi-currency that you struggled with, or perhaps it was quotes or chatter, you can now target those concepts purposefully to build your knowledge. This is useful whether you passed the exam or not, if you did pass you can use this to become more effective, if you didn’t pass then this will help with your next attempt.

 

Put That Knowledge Into Practice

 

There is a saying “Knowledge is Power”, well I’m afraid that isn’t quite true. Knowledge without action is pretty much useless. Make sure that you put what you have learned during your study into practice, this could be condensing multiple Process Builders into one, tidying up your Org, or even suggesting some business process changes to use Salesforce to its fullest potential. Also, a lot of what you have learned will be muscle memory, if you stop using it that knowledge will fade. The last thing you want is to be that guy with the certification who can’t do anything, what you want to be, is the guy who brings their A-Game, day in day out and helps elevate others by not only being able to do what you said you can do but by passing that knowledge on.

 

Rebook

 

If you didn’t pass then I would suggest booking your resit immediately, strike while the iron is hot, and while that motivation is there. What your overall score was and how much preparation you feel you need will dictate when you book your resit however I would always do it sooner rather than later. Just to clarify I'm not saying to book your resist for the next day, make a judgment call as to when you feel you will ready to resit and pass.

 

And there we have it, a comprehensive guide on how to approach and pass any Salesforce certification exam, from preparation to post exam. I hope that this chapter has been useful to you and if you have found them useful and know someone who you feel would benefit from this content please share it.